Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Hike in Withlacoochee State Forest

Today our hike was again in the Withlacoochee State Forest, but farther north in the Citrus Tract.  We did Loop A which, along with the connector trail to get to the loop, was a total of about 8.5 miles.  Tony and Diana went with us and we had a grand time.
It was a beautiful day for a hike.

Our trailhead was at the Holder Mine Campground about 3 miles south of Inverness.  It is a small parking lot with an information kiosk, but no restroom facilities.  However, across the road is the campground with restrooms and showers.
At the junction with Loop A trail.  Notice the official
Florida National Scenic Trail plaque on the post.

Our hike started on the blue connector trail which connected with the Loop trail after eight tenths of a mile.  We did our hike in the clockwise direction today.

This is small game season and we saw one hunter with his dogs today.  We, of course, were sporting our blaze orange hats.  Tony didn’t want to be mistaken for a quail or a squirrel, so he tied a red bandana around the brim of his hat.

Five Mile Pond is located about midway in our hike, making it a perfect spot for lunch.  We were disappointed, but not surprised to find the pond dry.  Florida needs rain in the worst sort of way.  We took a nice, long break here spreading our ponchos on the ground for a clean place to sit and eat.

Five Mile Pond was dry as a bone.
We followed the Florida National Scenic Trail for a portion of our loop.  That was kind of exciting to actually be hiking on a long distance trail and one of the eight National Scenic Trails.

Compared to our hike on Thursday at the Croom Track, today’s hike was more diverse.  We had a couple short hills to climb and then descend, we passed through areas of long-leaf pine and through other areas of live oak.  Again, the trail surface was primarily sand and in some areas so soft it was like walking on the beach.

Naturally, the best part was hiking with friends and we were happy to have Tony and Diana along to share the trail.  We were all pretty tired though by the time we got back to the car.  Lucky for us, we had to drive right past Ferris Grove citrus market on the way home.  We got some Honey Bell oranges, but our real reason for stopping was the strawberry milkshake.

That’s all for today.  Thanks for tagging along.


  1. A hike like that is something that my mind is up for, but the ankles and feet object. I am literally hobbling at the five mile mark. :(

  2. I can't believe you've hiked this much in Florida and haven't seen a you know what (a snake!!). Are you just not telling? I don't think I've ever hiked in Florida that i DIDN'T see one.

    I'd kill for a Honey Bell. Love seeing you and Gene in shorts!!